Coro­na­vi­rus sur­pri­sed us all. Alt­hough the­re were 2 mon­ths bet­ween the out­break in Chi­na and first cases in Poland, we had litt­le time to pre­pa­re. In Janu­a­ry we didn’t take it serious­ly, in Febru­a­ry we obser­ved the situa­ti­on and in March it hit us. And it hit us strong. 11th of March was the day when the schools were clo­sed and it was the start of our home office. Some (main­ly par­ents) were for­ced to do it right away, others didn’t have to rush but all in all, wit­hin a cou­p­le of days, we swit­ched to 100% home office. A new era began.

Like many other com­pa­nies simi­lar to us, we won­de­red how the situa­ti­on affec­ted our employees and cus­to­mers. Our focus was on safe­ty and well-being of our team and effec­ti­ve­ness of pro­jects. We addres­sed both of the­se topics to get the idea if we are coping well in the new reality.
At first, in May, we issued an anony­mous ques­ti­onn­aire among our crew. 126 employees (61% of all at that time) sta­ted their opi­ni­on giving us very good idea of the gene­ral mood during home office.

87% of all peop­le con­si­de­red their situa­ti­on to be good or very good. The remai­ning 13% addres­sed such topics as eco­no­mic uncer­tain­ty or lack of f2f inter­ac­tion ham­pe­ring their well-being. Simi­lar results were obser­ved when it comes to Codelab’s com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and decisi­ons regar­ding COVID-19.
85% of respondents felt that they had access to the necessa­ry resour­ces and note­wor­thy 96% thought the team was doing well with remo­te working.

Three big­gest bar­ri­ers that were sta­ted were:

  •  lack of direct con­ta­ct with col­leagues – 42%
  • non-ergo­no­mic home working envi­ron­ment (arm­chair, moni­tor, etc.) – 35%
  • the need to com­bi­ne work with care of child­ren and rela­ti­ves – 20%

We indi­vi­du­al­ly addres­sed tho­se immedia­te­ly after the poll.
One of the very hot issu­es during Coro­na lock down was effec­ti­ve­ness of the teams. Our ques­ti­onn­aire show­ed that 37% of peop­le descri­be their remo­te work as more effec­ti­ve than in the office, whe­re­as 57% as equal­ly effec­ti­ve. Impres­si­ve results that point out that our employees are hap­py with their home offices.

The abo­ve results were later con­fir­med by our cus­to­mers. Each year we gather feed­back from them, this time we added a spe­cial coro­na­vi­rus ques­ti­on: “How do you assess the impact of the COVID-19 pan­de­mic on our coope­ra­ti­on in recent mon­ths?”. We eva­lua­ted this in the con­text of four fac­tors: effec­ti­ve­ness of per­for­med tasks, qua­li­ty in com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on in the pro­ject, qua­li­ty of direct 1:1 com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and tech­ni­cal con­di­ti­ons of coope­ra­ti­on (avai­la­bi­li­ty of equip­ment, tools, etc.). A vast majo­ri­ty (around 90% for each ques­ti­on) of ans­wers from our cus­to­mers show­ed that they see no chan­ge whatsoever bet­ween work in the office and remo­te work. And, alt­hough it’s not direct­ly rela­ted to the topic of this arti­cle, but is defi­ni­te­ly worth brag­ging about, our NPS score was 66.67. Not bad, huh?
To finish this sum­ma­ry, I would like to point out that ques­ti­onn­aires, mea­su­res, KPIs etc. are one side of the coin but the other is main­tai­ning a pro­per well-being of the crew. The trick is to be sure that the needs of all inte­res­ted par­ties (employees, cus­to­mers and even the government in this case) are balan­ced and don’t get behind. Our sto­ry shows that it is pos­si­ble to achie­ve that. And now, to finish with the punch­li­ne, I would like to quo­te one of the ans­wers from our questionnaire:

“Under chan­ged con­di­ti­ons, it makes no sen­se to main­tain the old cul­tu­re. It’s more appro­pria­te to deve­lop a new one.“

Kudos to Jan Zabo­row­ski for data collec­tion and analysis